My current system is based on a Core2Duo E6420 2.13ghz mounted on a Gigabyte 965P-DS3 rev3.3 with 8gb of ram and mated to a Palit 9600GT 1gb video card, running Win7Ultimate-64bit. I want to upgrade the CPU only, but am not sure which LGA775 chip to get. I don't do any hardcore gaming. The only game I play is Lord of the Rings Online and it runs fine on my system. I just want a little more power for multi-tasking and gaming. Not sure if my GPU or CPU is a bottleneck. I don't want to overclock my current cpu because when I do that, my soundcard gets funky. My music will start to crackle and pop when I surf the web or try to scroll up and down a web page. (It's a known issue with Creative X-fi soundcards.) I've been looking at the Pentium Dual Core E6700 3.2ghz with 2mb L2 cache or a core2duo quad core. Just want to know what my best option would be. My budget is about $100-$150. Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.
Look into a used Core2Quad q6600. They're pretty cheap on eBay and will get you exactly what you're looking for. I've got a q6600 machine that still runs great and I use it daily. Should be able to just swap. processors and continue as you were, too, which would be really nice for ya.
Changing the CPU will increase your multi-tasking, but if you want an increase in gaming performance then you ideally want to change the GPU as well. I know that's not what you're after right now, but it's worth mentioning.
You would see a decent improvement going to the Pentium E6700 BUT, it won't be day and night. Probably 'good enough' though for your setup.
If you want gaming, go with a new graphics card too. Low proc. clock with good GPU still results in poor gaming performance. Decent CPU clock with good graphics at least has a decent gaming performance but not amazing.
Thanks everyone for your input. I don't do any hardcore gaming on my pc. The next game I may try is Star Wars The Old Republic once a free trial comes out. With my current setup, which is the bottleneck: E6420 @ 2.13ghz or the Palit 9600GT 1gb?